James Davis, Indian Summer

May 17th, 2011 Comments Off on James Davis, Indian Summer

James Davis has a solo show coming up at the Rare Gallery, New York City.

For more information, see the below article by Jim Laird of University Relations:

STARKVILLE, Miss.–An assistant art professor at Mississippi State University will have a homecoming of sorts in New York City next week.

James Davis will have five large-scale pieces featured May 26-June 23 at the Rare Gallery. This will be the third solo showing he has had at the prominent Chelsea Art District venue.

During his second show in 2008, Jerry Speyer, chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, purchased Davis’ piece “Shower” for the Tishman Speyer collection. “Shower” now is on permanent display at the Tysons International Plaza Building in suburban Washington, D.C.

“My work transforms commonplace material into images of nature in unforeseen ways,” said Davis, a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth and Ohio State universities. He also is an alumnus of the Skowhegan (Maine) School of Painting and Sculpture. [For more biographical information, visit www.caad.msstate.edu/jdavis/.]

Titled “Indian Summer,” Davis’ 2011 show opens formally with a 6-8 p.m. reception Thursday [the 26th]. The gallery is located at 547 West 27th Street, No. 514. [For more, visit http://rare-gallery.com/.]

Davis said MSU alumni and other state residents planning to visit the Big Apple next month should be aware that the exhibition will be up during the 32nd annual Mississippi Picnic in Central Park, which takes place June 11.

In addition to the MSU art department, support and funding for his New York event is being provided by the College of Architecture, Art and Design and Office of Research and Economic Development.



Subconscious Meandering

May 5th, 2011 Comments Off on Subconscious Meandering

An ongoing exhibition featuring surreal drawings and paintings by local artist Joe MacGown is on display at the Depot Gallery on the Mississippi State University Campus, which is located above the Welcome Center in the Barnes and Nobles building beside the football stadium. The show will be up all summer from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday from 3 May to 31 August 2011. An opening reception will be held from 5 PM to 7 PM on Thursday, 2 June 2011.

The exhibition includes both recent and older surrealistic works by MacGown, who refers to his artistic style as “Neogothic Surrealism” or “Subconscious Meandering.”  He works predominately in black ink, using fine-tipped Koh-i-noor Rapidograph pens, but also creates richly colored mixed-media works. His works are incredibly detailed, intensely chaotic, relatively weird, and sometimes slightly dark.  According to MacGown, when he begins a drawing, he usually has no preconceived idea of what he is going to draw, other than at most a minimal idea or a basic shape.  He does not do underlying pencil sketches, but instead works directly with pen or paint. This allows for more spontaneity and subconscious flow, which is the basis for most of his surreal art. In many cases, to properly build depth, long hours of work are needed to finish these drawings, and it is not unusual for him to spend over 250 hours for some works to be completed.

Also included in the show are several smaller collaborative drawings that MacGown has done with various artists from around the world. Many of these drawings were done with the other artists’ work completely covered except for a one-inch strip that was left visible on each work.  MacGown completed his part of each drawing based solely on that one-inch visible strip.  After completion, the coverings that had been placed over the other artists’ works were removed, and the completed pieces were revealed.  This method is not always seamless, but the end result is always interesting!  These pieces were a result of his being a member of an international collaborative surreal art club called the “Exquisite Corpse”.

Some of the artwork in this exhibit includes pieces that were shown recently in international exhibitions in Chicago; Memphis; Ontario, Canada; Angouleme, France; and Novgorod, Russia. Additionally, several of these pieces were included in three different books published in 2010 that featured surreal artists from around the world.  MacGown’s work next will be featured as part of an international exhibition entitled “The Energy Spectrum” by the Energy Art Movement. The show will be held at the Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian, MS from Oct. 5th through Nov. 26th (reception on Oct. 29th from 6 to 8 PM). This will mark the first time this group has held an exhibition in Mississippi.

MacGown’s artwork can be seen at his website.

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